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Most towns in Emfuleni Municipality area facing utter darkness

Large parts of the Emfuleni Local Municipality (Evaton, Sebokeng, Vaal Oewer, Vanderbijlpark, Vereeniging) are heading for utter darkness because the Municipality’s bank account has been frozen by Rand Water, for the past three months, and Eskom, since last year.

Last week, Eskom took things one step further by attaching Emfuleni’s investment account.

If the Municipality applies for debt relief from Eskom, the power utility might lift the attachment on the account. At present, the Municipality is unable to pay creditors or contractors, and the danger exists that its entire power network may totally collapse.

The areas mostly affected by power outages are Stephan Park, Boipatong and the business centre of Vanderbijlpark.

The only solution to these areas’ power problems was to approach Eskom and request that these areas be exempted from load shedding while load reduction is implemented instead.

It is, however, not a sustainable solution because the only transformer serving the entire area frequently overheats and cannot sustain the load much longer.

The Town substation, from where power is distributed to these areas, needs three MVA transformers to ensure reliable power supply.

The contractor who was appointed to replace the two broken-down transformers has not been paid. And to start the process from scratch would mean that residents will have to wait between 12 and 18 months before the power supply is stabilised.

If Eskom decides to implement load shedding in these areas again, the only remaining transformer will most probably break down, leaving residents in utter darkness.

The rest of Emfuleni’s substations are also experiencing problems that must be urgently addressed. The Municipality’s problems do not end with power supply, though. Due to a lack of funds, vehicles and parts, sewage blockages and water leakages are also not being repaired.

In October last year, Eskom attached the Municipality’s fleet and service delivery was basically brought to a standstill.

The FF Plus has warned the ANC-controlled Emfuleni Municipality numerous times to stop its mismanagement, and has submitted many proposals for how to save the Municipality from utter ruin.

But the ANC does not possess the political will nor the ability to save Emfuleni.

Emfuleni deserves better than the ANC.

Read the original article in Afrikaans by Gerda Senekal on FF Plus

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